Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gumball Birthday Shaker

Lawn Fawn has a new challenge blog: Lawn Fawnatics. I needed a birthday card for one of my cousins, so created one inspired by the "Birthday" theme of their first challenge.

I began by cutting a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x5.5". I stamped the gumball machine from Lawn Fawn's "Sweet Smiles" set on the panel in Versafine Onyx Black ink, & clear heat embossed it. I also stamped it on a piece of masking paper, cut it out, and masked off the machine on my panel. I then taped off the bottom portion of my paper with painters tape, and blended Twisted Citron, Squeezed Lemonade, & Carved Pumpkin Distress inks over the top portion to create a gradient. When I'd finished that, I moved the tape to mask off the top portion, and inked the bottom with Gathered Twigs, adding a little Ground Espresso around the edges for shading. It was a bit of a struggle keeping the tape in place to ink with the browns, since the ink was still wet on the top portion. But I persevered, and love the blending I got! :)

After I removed the mask from the gumball machine, I colored it with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers. Then I cut out the globe portion with a craft knife. I also stamped & colored several gumballs, adding faces from "Sweet Smiles." For the "birthday" portion of my greeting, I stamped with Owen's ABCs in Memento Bahama Blue, Delta Emerald Green, Altenew Coral Berry, & Hero Arts Grape Juice and Orange Soda inks. Then I punched those and the gumballs out with a 1/2" circle punch.

I decided where I wanted my "birthday" word to go, and used that to help me position the rest of the greeting. For that, I combined the "have a" & "sweet" words from 2 of the greeting stamps in "Sweet Smiles." I stamped them in Versamark on my background, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder.

I cut a piece of scrap packaging plastic to slightly larger than the opening in the gumball machine, and used Scor-Tape to adhere it on the back of my panel. At this point, the background was really bothering me. I decided to pull a confetti stamp from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" set (discontinued) and stamp in the same inks I'd used for the background. (I did use Mustard Seed over the Squeezed Lemonade band, since the Squeezed Lemonade didn't show up when stamped.) I feel the added texture helped break up the monotony of the plain background. Once I'd done that, I glued down my gumballs. I added the "birthday" letters, positioning them kittywampus so they resemble gumballs as well.

To create my shaker, I added 2 layers of foam tape to the back of my panel. I created a backing panel for behind the shaker window itself by blending the green, yellow, & orange inks on another scrap of bristol paper. I glued 2 of the stamped & colored gumballs I'd created to that, so they would show through the window but not shake around. Then I added 2 more gumballs (making sure to place them face-down so the fronts would show through the window) and some seed beads to the shaker well. I adhered my backing piece in place, added some Scor-Tape to the back of that, and mounted the whole panel to a white A2 card base. Hopefully my cousin will get a kick out of this!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy 70th Anniversary

I recently learned that a former minister I knew a long time ago is celebrating his 70th anniversary with his wife. What a rare milestone! So I "had" to make them a card--just a no-brainer. I took my inspiration from this card that I found via Pinterest. I looked up what the symbolic gift is for the 70th anniversary. In the U.K., it was listed as platinum. Oddly, for the U.S., there was no gift listed! So I tried to incorporate some platinum accents, mostly in the foil I used for the patterned paper & the pearlized cardstock I cut the birds from.

I started by die cutting my birds, using an old Sizzix die, "Bird & Leaf." The die actually faces only one way, so for the "male" bird, I flipped the die cut over. Thankfully, the cardstock I used is the same front & back, so I didn't have to think too much. ;) I also used the same die to cut just the wing from some green plaid paper for the male bird, and a pink doily paper for the female bird.

I used a piece of 6x6" patterned paper from Heidi Swapp for the larger panel on my card. The leaves/vines are actually toner, so I foiled the paper with Heidi Swapp Gunmetal foil & my mini Minc machine. I cut the piece down to 5.5x6". I used a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die to die cut the hole for the female bird to peek out of. After gluing the bird in the window, I used the next larger die to cut a circle from brown cardstock, and layered that behind the hole, gluing the rest of the bird to it as well.

For the top panel, I used 2 scrap pieces of teal blue cardstocks. I die cut the bottom edge of both at the same time, with one of the "Stitched Borders 3" dies by Pretty Pink Posh. That way, I could be sure the scallops would line up. I layered the lighter piece over the darker, and adhered them together.

I cut a label using one of the "Grommet Tags" dies from Spellbinders from white cardstock, and printed my greeting (which I'd created in Photoshop) on that. I added it to my blue panel with 2 mini heart brads. Then I adhered both of my main panels to a white A9 card base.

I felt the bottom part of the card needed a little something. I tried just a strip of teal cardstock, but that was too blah. I cut the long edges with decorative-edge scissors, but that looked even worse! I experimented with lace trim, but finally decided just to use an old Martha Stewart border punch to punch a strip, backed it with white cardstock, and fussy cut the white along the top edge. Finally, I glued that to the bottom of my card front--perfect!

For the finishing touches, I glued googly eyes on the birds with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I die cut a little pink heart with Simon Says Stamp's "Mini Hearts Outline" dies, and glued it between the birds. For a bit of added sparkle, I coated the heart with Diamond Stickles, and also added drops of that to the flower centers in the bottom border. Hopefully the happy couple will enjoy this card!

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Things with Wings"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Use More than One Die or Punch"
Die Cut Divas "For the Love of Animals/Pets" (Hopefully the birds count!)
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Holiday Wishes--with Bells on!

The current theme for Merry Monday Christmas Challenge is "Bells." I went through my holiday stamp sets, and found only two with bells! One of them is the "Holiday Style" set by Sunny Studio Stamps, which is a stamp layering set. Because I also want to enter this card in Christmas Card Throwdown's March "Color" challenge, I decided to stamp my bells in shades of lime green. Non-traditional? Maybe. But heck--why not go for it?! :)

I began by stamping my bells onto white cardstock with Memento New Sprout ink for the base layer, Altenew Frayed Leaf for the middle layer, and Hero Arts Lime Green (double stamped) for the last layer. I actually ended up stamping about twice as many bells as I used, just trying to get everything lined up as close to perfect as possible! After I'd gotten 3 good ones, I die cut them with the coordinating die.

The other 2 colors in Christmas Card Throwdown's palette are burgundy & cream. So I decided to do a burgundy background & cream frame. I did a little die cut inlay, adding dimension by popping the frame up. I die cut the frame from cream cardstock, using the two largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Cross-Stitched Rectangle" dies. I die cut the burgundy with the smaller of those 2 dies. I also die cut a frame from cream-colored craft foam, trimmed a bit off the outer edges so it wouldn't show, and glued that to the back of my cardstock frame. Had I been thinking ahead of of time, I could have applied Stick It to both sides of the craft foam, and used that to adhere the cardstock BEFORE die cutting. But I didn't think of it until after the fact. It still worked out.

After I determined where to place my bells, I stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts "Color Layering Christmas Tree" set, in Versamark ink & heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. I punched a hole in the top of each bell with a 1/8" hole punch, and threaded some gold embroidery floss through for a hanger. I glued my bells in place, wrapped the floss around the top of the burgundy panel, and adhered it to the back with some ATG tape.

To finish my card, I adhered my frame to a white A2 card base, and popped my burgundy panel in the middle. I added a bit of clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen to my bells, and this card is done!

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Use More than One Die or Punch"
613 Avenue Create #195: "Anything Goes with Optional Twist (stamping)"

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Wishes

My high school art teacher is having a birthday next weekend, so I created this card to send to her. I got the inspiration for the design from one of the cards Jennifer McGuire made for this post/video.

I cut a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x5.5". I inked it completely with Spun Sugar Distress ink, and then stenciled the panel with Cracked Pistachio Distress ink & My Favorite Things' "Small Brick Wall" stencil. Once I had finished inking, I removed the stencil & used my Distress Sprayer to spritz some water droplets on the panel, let that sit for several seconds, and then blotted the water up with a dry paper towel. This gave me a soft background, but with a little more interest than just a plain colored cardstock.

For the balloons, I used 3 of Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" dies. I cut them from more bristol paper, and colored them with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, using a water brush to spread the color. Then I set those aside to dry.

I die cut the "birthday" from dark blue glitter cardstock, using one of the "Cause for Celebration" dies, that I just got from My Favorite Things. I positioned it on my background panel, and used that to help me position the balloons. I popped the balloons up on foam tape, using liquid glue to adhere them where they overlapped. Then I glued my die cut word down. Had I been thinking ahead, I would have used Stick It on the back of my glitter cardstock, and adhered the die cut to the background, rather than gluing it. Oh well!

To "hang" the birthday die cut, I cut 4 pieces of silver thread. I tied one end of each piece to the bottom of each balloon, adding a drop of glue to keep it in place. Then I used my paper piercer to poke holes in the background above 4 of the letters, threaded the balloon strings through those holes, & taped the ends to the back of the panel. Finally, I doubled up more lengths of thread, and tied a bow for each string. (Not an easy process!) I glued the bows to the strings where they met the letters.

For the rest of the greeting, I chose the "happy" & "wishes" from Simon Says Stamp's "It's Your Birthday" stamp set. I realized--after I'd let the glue for the bows dry a bit--that I needed to remove the first & second bows, to have room to stamp the "happy"! Thankfully, I was able to pull them off without hurting anything. I used my MISTI to help me position the stamps, and stamped them with Hero Arts Navy ink. Then I reglued the bows I'd taken off. Finally, I trimmed the 2 end balloons where they hung over the edges of the panel, & adhered the finished card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Dies R Us Challenge #68: "Something New" (the MFT word die set is new to me)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "For a Special Lady/Girl" (my art teacher is certainly a special lady!)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Make Your Own Background"